Archive for October 1st, 2010

Local college marks 40-year milestone

| 01/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): More than 300 people attended the 40th anniversary banquet for the International College of the Cayman Islands last weekend. Attendees included alumnus, students, faculty, and supporters from both the private and public sectors. International College graduate and keynote speaker Carlyle McLaughlin paid tribute to the founder, the late Hugh Cummings, ThD, who took special interest in the young man’s college education when his family could not afford college and scholarships were limited in the 1970s.

“Dr. Hugh approached me and told me to come to ICCI. I said I couldn’t afford it, and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll get you a scholarship,” McLaughlin revealed at the diner at the Westin Causurina resort
Obtaining a degree from International College would become the stepping-stone for McLaughlin’s successful 25-year career at Ernst & Young.  
International College president emerita Elsa Cummings, PhD, who helped establish the non-profit, private institution in 1970 with her late husband said that the school has made a difference in hundreds of lives. 
“Dr. Hugh truly loved people and they, in turn, loved him back,” said Cummings. “They say that if you make a difference in one person’s life, it makes whatever you do worthwhile. I am satisfied that over 40 years, we have touched the lives of several thousands of young and older adults in a positive way and helped to improve the standard of living of many Caymanians and international students.“
President John Cummings, PhD, said the legacy of college education that was started 40 years ago is still growing and will continue to grow into the future. “It is vital that the Cayman Islands has an option to obtain a college or university education on island without having to go overseas,” said Dr. Cummings. “Particularly in an economic downturn where obtaining an college education becomes even more important to stay competitive in the work force.”
Trustee and president of Friends of ICCI, Amy Gage, said the anniversary celebrations were personally meaningful because her father, Victor Thornton Wood from Cayman Brac, encouraged her to help the Cummings get the International College started when both the Cummings and the Gages lived in Portland, Oregon. “My father felt that if students had a chance for higher education here at home, it would strengthen the Caymans, and prepare the Islands for what he saw coming in the financial and tourist industries especially,” said Gage. “He was right, and this gathering was the proof.”

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US$10,000 reward for robbers

| 01/10/2010 | 42 Comments

(CNS): Fidelity Bank, Cayman Crime Stoppers and the RCIPS have joined forces to offer a reward of up to US$10,000 for information leading to the arrest and subsequent conviction of the of the people responsible for the bank robbery last Friday, 24 September. Shortly before 10.00am on Friday, three men, all armed with what appeared to be firearms, entered the Fidelity Bank on Dr Roy’s Drive. They threatened customers and staff before making off with a sum of cash. No shots were fired and although no–one was injured, staff and customers were left shaken by the ordeal. Initial reports indicated thatthe men responsible made off in a black coloured Jeep Compass. Following the robbery CID, uniformed and armed officers immediately attended the scene. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

 The RCIPS Air Operations Unit was also deployed to assist in the search for the suspects. To date no arrests have been made in connection with this crime.

One suspect had brown complexion, was 6 feet in height and weighed about 180 pounds. He was wearing a white overall over his face and dark glasses.

The second suspect was around 5’9” in height, slim build, 170-180 pounds with a dark brown complexion. He was wearing denim pants and a white and grey coloured shirt.

The third suspect was around 5’9” in height, 170-180 pounds, with a dark brown complexion. He was wearing a white shirt and dark pants.

All three had their faces covered and were carrying what appeared to be firearms.

Announcing the reward, Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said, “We are grateful to Fidelity Bank and Cayman Crime Stoppers for joining with the RCIPS to offer this reward. The men responsible are still at large but there is no doubt that someone knows who they are, where they are and the location of the firearms used in this crime. This was a terrifying ordeal for the staff members and the customers involved.”

Bodden said that although no-one was injureda number of people, including an expectant mother, were left traumatised by the ordeal. “We hope that the reward will encourage people who know who these men are to contact police as quickly as possible.”

Anyone with any information about this crime should inform the police immediately. Calls can also be made to Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Leaders to lead new leaders on Chamber programme

| 01/10/2010 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce has opened applications for its 2011 leadership programme. This year the steering committee is made up of graduates from the first class which was described by the Chamber as a great success. Wil Pineau, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce made the announcement on Thursday morning explaining that Leadership Cayman offers a unique experience for those who take the course providing  insight into aspects of Cayman society that people may never in a lifetime otherwise get to see. From the inner workings of the criminal justice system to the inside of the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton the programme is about understanding Cayman inside and out.

“This is a tremendous opportunity as many of us are in silos within the industries we work, that’s where our friends and relationships are,” Pineau said. “Leadership Cayman takes people outside of their usual fields and offers unique insight into different elements of the community helping future leaders cross the borders of those silos.”
Twenty eight people successfully graduated from the class of 2010 and this year there will be 24places available. The committee chaired by Sandy Cram a graduate of the 2010 course says that the committee is hoping to get a lot more applicants so that they can select the best group of people for the 2011 programme.
The course costs $1950 for Chamber members, $2250 for none members and this year a scholarship will be offered to one candidate. Pineau said the course was fantastic value for money as it was subsidized by the number of corporate sponsors which is why they six month programme was so inexpensive. He said the fee includes everything from course materials tot he cost of the various tours that form part of the programme.
Following the same pattern as the first programme Leadership Cayman consists of 12 seminars and two retreats. The seminars generally take place on a Wednesday evenings and cover a diverse range of topics from the performing arts to government and politics. The idea behind the course is that at each seminar students interact with and question at least three experts in a given field and are able to probe and inquire about the details of their speciality. Whether it’s the director of the hospital or a CEO of a financial services institution the class get a candid look at the industries they represent.
Last year Pineau said Leadership Cayman was able to secure a high calibre of speakers for each seminar however, during the Cayman Islands Government seminar no MLAs were able to attend because of scheduling problems. This year, Pineau says, the dates have been set well ahead of time and the hope is that elected officials will be present.
He pointed out that the support from a divers and interesting selection of speakers was a major part of the course. “The success of the course is dependent on the speakers,” he said explaining that there willingness to talk openly and answer questions about their fields enabled the graduates to gain a greater understand of the Cayman community.
For full details on how to apply for the next programme log on to or email: or call Joanne Diaz-Berry 949 8090 ext123

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Wine shop denial quashed

| 01/10/2010 | 17 Comments

(CNS): The Grand Court has quashed a decision by the Cayman Islands Liquor Licensing Board (LLB) to refuse a local wine merchant a conditional license ahead of a planned $3 million commercial development in West Bay. However, the battle is not yet over for Jacques Scott, which had been denied a change of location retail licence for a new flagship store. Although the decision by the board was overturned. Chief Justice Anthony Smellie has not yet given directions on the next step in lieu of an affidavit from the deputy chair of the LLB, who presided over the decision. While Jacques Scott is hoping for a direction to grant the licence, the LLB is hoping for an entirely new hearing.

Legal arguments between Maples and Calder, acting for Jacques Scott, and the Attorney General’s Office for the LLB lasted for over four hours on Thursday afternoon during a judicial review of the board’s decision brought by the wine merchants.
While the legal department did not object to the quashing of the decision to refuse the license, counsel for the AG’s office asked for a direction for a new hearing. The attorney said that owing to “procedural irregularities” and the failure on the part of the board to consult various parties before it made its decision, the LLB was entitled to correct those mistakes by having an entirely new hearing in which the chief fire officer, planning and the commissioner of police, among others, could be consulted.
Maples argued, however, that the LLB’s claim was too late and that it had already had plenty of opportunity to consult the various parties at a long hearing in April this year, when objections were argued extensively and numerous people had their say. Mac Imrie said it was unfair and prejudicial to his client to go through the process again and that any future decision had to be based on the information from the previous hearing. If theAG’s office was now admitting that the original refusal was wrong, there was only one lawful course of action left and that was to grant the license.
Imrie had argued that all of the concerns regarding traffic and public order issues had been thoroughly addressed at the original hearing, where thepolice were present. He also pointed out that the store would be a fine wine and luxury kitchen shop, similar to the store at Country Side Village in Savannah. He said the store would close at 7pm, a security guard would be on duty during opening hours and it would not be selling single units of alcohol. It was therefore unfair to suggest the store, which was part of a wider commercial development, would add to the crime problems of the district.
“It’s not a bottle shop; it’s an upmarket store selling fine wines and luxury kitchen goods — something you can’t get in West Bay at the moment,” Imrie added.
The lawyer also pointed out that traffic issues would form part of the planning considerations and if the firm did not deal with those it would not be granted planning permission anyway, so there was no need for the LLB to solicit the Central Planning Authority at this early stage.
“This smacks to us of doing everything it can to stop the development,” Imrie said as he argued against allowing the LLB to completely start over and seek more objections.
The legal department argued that the LLB should be allowed to correct the irregularities which it said had taken place during the hearing and decision making process. While it accepted the decision to refuse had to be quashed, the LLB did not accept that the reasons for the denial were invalid but had been reached without following proper procedures, which was to solicit input from the commissioner of police, the fire officer, the CPA, the chief medical officer and others.
The CJ raised a number of concerns that the legal department had been late raising the point of procedural irregularities, but at the end of the four hour legal wrangling he said he wished to see an affidavit from the deputy chair, Noel Williams, in order to clarify the irregularities that the LLB wanted to cure. Although the CJ was not persuaded by the entire list of the people the board wanted to consult at a new hearing, he said there could be an issue of public interest regarding the input from the commissioner of police.
Jacque Scott has plans to be anchor tenants in their own development of a new retail complex on the empty lot next to Foster’s Supermarket Republix in West Bay, set to open at the end of next year. The LLB turned down the application by licensee Peter Dutton, who wanted to change the location of a liquor license from the Little Liquor Store on North Church Street to the new store, following a hearing of the board in April.
During the hearing objections were heard from local businesses that were concerned that another store would put them in financial difficulty as well as concerns of crime levels in the area and traffic congestion. Garett Haylock, speaking on behalf of the West Bay Residents Committee, who signed a petition objecting on moral grounds about to bringing more alcohol to the district.
At the time of the hearing Dutton saidthat the company was aware of objections to the store but had taken out an advertisement to spell out the plans in the local press. He had described the development as a statement of confidence in the West Bay district, which would bring business and employment to the district. The key issue, however, was the liquor licence and the need for a conditional grant for the flagship store before planning permissions could be sought.
Following Thursday’.s courtroom battle, Dutton said he was pleased that the first step in getting the denial of the licence overturned had been succesful. The next step now would be to persuade the courts that the board should be directed to grant the license.

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Two robberies in one night

| 01/10/2010 | 29 Comments

(CNS): Update Friday 6pm – Police have now confirmed that the one stop mini-mart was not robbed last night. Although staff reported suspicious people around the store when police attended the scene there was no one there an RCIPS spokesperson said during office hours.  However, Domino’s Pizza Parlour in Mary Street George Town was robbed around 6:20pm when robbers armed with at least one hand gun escaped with a small amount of cash. The second robbery occurred at around 8pm at a popular waterfront restaurant in West Bay. Sources tell CNS that two armed men robbed Alfresco’s Restaurant on Town Hall Road taking money from  the cash register, the chef and two customers before escaping on foot. Police station. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The robbery at Dominos came in the wake of an attempted robbery there on Wednesday evening when two robbers were reportedly foiled by the store’s new security system. CNS understands that no one was hurt during any of the incidents and no shots were fired.
Mid-morning Friday police released more details on the Domino’s Pizza robbery and the Alfresco’s Restaurant robbery.
No details were confirmed by police last night as all three robberies occurred out of ‘office hours’ and police, who are now only speaking to the media during business hours, could not be reached for comment.
The RCIPS have said except in the case of a serious crime information will only be given to the media regarding criminal incidents during office hours, described as 8:30am-4:30pm Monday- Friday. CNS is calling on members of the public to help us keep the wider community informed. Please contact our news room with any information about crimes taking place in your neighbourhood on or 926 6816.

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West Bay restaurant robbed

| 01/10/2010 | 46 Comments

(CNS): Update Friday 11:00am – The RCIPS has issued descriptions of the armed robbers who targeted a popular waterfront restaurant in West Bay on Thursday evening at around 8pm but offered no new details. Sources told CNS last night that two armed men robbed Alfresco’s Restaurant on Town Hall Road a little after 8pm, some two hours after a pizza parlour was robbed in George Town. Both suspects are described as being around 5’10” in height and of slim build. One had a fair complexion and was wearing jeans, the other a dark complexion and dark pants. Both had shirts covering their faces. The robbers reportedly fled the restaurant on foot after threatening staff and taking cash but it is understood no one was hurt during the incident and no shots were fired. CNS also understands that a local mini-mart in the district may also have been robbed. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

With the increasing breakdown of communication between police and media, CNS is calling on members of the public to help us keep the community informed. Please contact our news room with any information about crimes taking place in your neighbourhood on or 926 6816.

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Robbers try again at Dominos

| 01/10/2010 | 16 Comments

(CNS): Update Friday 10:47am – Police have now confirmed that two masked suspects robbed Dominos Pizza in Mary Street last night, Thursday 30 September, following a failed attempt the night before. No arrests have been made in relation to the incident. The RCIPS said that just before 6:20pm two masked men, one armed with what appeared to be a handgun, forced their way into the premises and threatened staff before making off with a small sum of cash. No shots were fired and no-one was injured in the incident. It is believed that the suspects left the scene of the crime in a green Honda Civic. Police immediately cordoned off the area and launched a search for the suspects and the getaway car. A short time later the abandoned car was recovered in a parking lot to the rear of Puritan Cleaners, Eastern Avenue. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Enquiries with the owner revealed that the vehicle had been stolen from outside the Cayman Islands Hospital, George Town, on Thursday morning.

One of the suspects is described as being 6 feet tall, slim build, wearing a white long sleeved hooded shirt, faded jean pants and a black mask. The other is said to be approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall, slim build, wearing a black long sleeved hooded shirt and a black mask.

Although police were on the scene Thursday evening, officers refused to reveal any details of the robbery. As the incident occurred outside ‘office hours’ no one else from the RCIPS could be reached for comment. Despite the lack of official confirmation last night, CNS learned that after Wednesday night’s failed attempt, Thursday’s robbers did escape with an undisclosed sum of cash. It is not known at this time if these were the same men.

According to News27 yesterday’s robbers were foiled by a new security system in which those trying to gain entry have to be buzzed in to get through the door, so when the robbers hit the buzzer a female employee managed to scare them off. It is unclear how they managed to bypass the system this evening.

The system was put in place as the store is no stranger to robberies. The same branch was robbed back in June when armed men crashed through the doors and stole cash before making their escape. No one has been arrested in connection with that crime.

Anyone with any information about this crime should call George Town police station on 949-
4222 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477(TIPS).

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Twelve people killed by ‘Nicole’ in Jamaica

| 01/10/2010 | 4 Comments

(Reuters): Jamaica’s death toll from Tropical Storm Nicole rose to twelve on Thursday as forecasters warned the storm’s remains could hit the US Atlantic Coast from the Carolinas to New England. Nicole was a minimal tropical storm for just six hours on Wednesday, but the broad, ragged system poured heavy rain onto Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, south Florida and the Bahamas. In Jamaica, three days of torrential rain from the system caused flash flooding that killed a dozen people. Eight more were missing and feared dead. In the latest casualties, three construction workers died when a storm-weakened wall collapsed on them early Thursday.

The men were sleeping inside the half-finished house they were building in the affluent Norbrook Heights section of Kingston, police said. Part of the house collapsed under the weight of rain from the storm, police said. Frantic neighbours led them to the site, where the men were heard screaming. Their bodies were found soon afterward. "This is devastating. They died in a terrible way. They had little chance of survival," a neighbour woman said.
Tuesday and Wednesday, three pedestrians were swept away by rising water and six members of one family died when their house collapsed in a flood.

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